No-wake zone on St. Croix for bridge project

Boaters who use the St. Croix River this summer will notice a new no-wake zone near Oak Park Heights.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is preparing a worksite in the river as part of the St. Croix Bridge project, which will connect Oak Parks Heights in Minnesota to St. Joseph in Wisconsin.

MnDOT crews have also begun roadwork for the bridge approach on Highway 36. Boaters will be asked to slow down near the site of the new bridge starting this weekend, said MnDOT spokeswoman Mary McFarland Brooks.

"A work zone is being set up," she said. "There is going to be a channel narrowing and a no-wake zone put into effect that is a little bit longer than a mile at the site where the piers will be going in."

A no-wake zone is necessary to maintain safety for bridge workers.

"If there is movement on the river," she said, "obviously the barges move and the cranes can tip into the river and lose their load and create all kinds of havoc."

The no-wake zone will remain in effect for four years or until the bridge is complete.

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